Cut, Color, and Community at Paramore’s Hayley Williams’ New Salon

Gerard Ortiz

There’s no much better bond than that of a female and her hairstylist.

For evidence, search no further more than the dynamic duo that is Hayley Williams and Brian O’Connor. Williams, the fierce frontwoman of the Grammy-award-successful band Paramore is recognized for her powerhouse vocals, vivid phase presence, and signature daring hair colours and cuts. O’Connor is a 20-calendar year cosmetology vet who has labored with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Fall Out Boy, and even Vice President Al Gore.

The two fulfilled in 2006 when Williams went to have her hair finished by then-up-and-coming stylist O’Connor. At the time Paramore hadn’t nonetheless turn into international superstars, so when Williams stepped into the Pink Mullet in Franklin to see a increasing apprentice, he had no clue who she was skillfully.

“Hayley and Paramore weren’t what they are today. She was like, ‘I do music. I’m in a band.’ I was like, ‘OK, so does most people in this town.’ And then I was quickly choking down those phrases,” he laughs. “He had performed my hair a few of times and we actually related. I liked it simply because he wasn’t frightened to chop into it,” Williams claims. “Touring is often a boys’ club, but specially in the scene we have been aspect of there was this pressure of, ‘I never want people today to believe I tried too hard,’ so I constantly wished to glance distinctive and sense distinct.”


Williams states O’Connor’s fearless variations not only served transform her outlook about getting a woman in the rock scene, but also cemented their friendship.

“Brian has aided so much to see that femininity does not have to be a bad detail, simply because touring will test to beat it out of you,” she claims. “And when anyone is chopping into your hair and razoring it—the believe in that instills in a relationship is like none other.”


Their relationship moved out of the salon when O’Connor started doing the job with Williams on new music video shoots. The to start with was in 2007 when he styled her for “Misery Small business,” a song—and video—that arguably set Paramore on the map (and remains one particular of their most significant hits to date). Williams requested O’Connor to make her look like an anime character or one thing out of Fruits (a Japanese avenue style magazine). Not only did he get the reference, he nailed the glance.

“Our friendship was genuinely just about hair and beauty for a while,” suggests Williams. “Then there was this turning level wherever it became experience or die. We’re in this with each other and we’re going to make shit collectively. We’re heading to acquire on the globe. When you obtain your folks like that, you hold onto them.”


That have confidence in grew to become even much more essential as Hayley took inventory of her mental health and fitness.

“Even before I was diagnosed with anything—PTSD and depression mainly—I experienced genuinely tough times I could not describe,” she states. “Brian’s occupation at the rear of the chair with anyone at some point he’s heading to truly feel like a therapist. But with us the sort of connection we have and the belief we have in each individual other, even when Iwasatmyworst,Iwasabletostayonthe floor mainly because we have this friendship that’s genuine, and you can definitely speak out your shit. On best of that, I’ve had the reward of recognizing him my entire hair journey and I know the influence that has on me. When I’ve been in my worst times in my daily life and I have felt like I just need to have to see anything distinct in the mirror or I will need a adjust, I know that tends to make a variation. We have both been via a large amount of shit and weirdly, a whole lot of equivalent shit—both married and divorced. And actually, that’s when Fantastic Dye Younger genuinely took off.”


Although on tour in Australia (with O’Connor on place to model Williams for displays) the two dreamed up Great Dye Younger, their semi-long lasting hair color line. In 2016 the brand name introduced with five main shades and a lightening kit—all of which pay homage to the bold shade possibilities Williams and O’Connor had made collectively above the several years. Due to the fact then, the brand has developed to involve much more shades, additional merchandise, and additional merchants.

“It’s a wonderful example of how sometimes you just have to choose a leap of faith towards something that’s excellent for you and liberating,” Williams claims of finding new accomplishment during a hard psychological time. “You have to take care of on your own first just before you can do something impactful. We experienced to set the techniques in to take treatment of ourselves and then we had the energy to do this wonderful factor which is everyday living providing, it’s not soulsucking.”


The practical experience was, in point, so satisfying that they decided to tackle a different business endeavor alongside one another: a hair salon.In 2020 they bought the area, situated in the then-up-and-coming Wedgewood- Houston district (just down the road from the house that would become Soho Home). At the time, the neighborhood hadn’t been through the glam makeover that would make it the “it neighborhood” of these days.

“I tried out Eighth Avenue to downtown and then I seemed on the east side and I was like, ‘I don’t know why that doesn’t feel like the place for us.’ I preferred the regional corporations that are [in Wedgewood-Houston].There are Nashville people here,” she claims. “Hair can occasionally be expensive, but we are for way additional than just a bougie lady to occur get a blowout. We’re for everything. Every person. We have the skill stage in this article among our team—everyone’s able of the style of attractive shiny, beautifully blended hair that we have all occur to know. But we also want to have bizarre, structured cuts and wild coloration patterns and issues that we’re inspired by from Japanese publications like Fruits, which is part of our story—it’s why we named the business that.”


Several years just before Williams purchased the creating it housed a punk rock label referred to as Infinity Cat—a coincidence that felt like a signal. “That just feels like Kismet,”she claims.“The spirit is here the electricity is here. Now we just require to continue to keep nurturing that and invite far more individuals into the get together.” Creating that sense of group and an open up-doorway mentality is essential to Williams and O’Connor.

“As extended as I’ve lived below, I have by no means viewed a salon like this,” states O’Connor. “What I hope is that an individual walks in listed here and just is like, very well, this is not what I predicted at all. And not only that, like Hayley claimed, we want this to be for everybody, irrespective of whether you are looking to shell out $40 for a lower or a $400 colour.”


“That’s my passion,” he claims. “And not just because we have Great Dye Youthful. I want folks to see that you do not have to just look a single way due to the fact we stay in the south.” 

To find out who inspired Brian and Hayley’s vision for her aesthetic in Paramore’s “This is Why” era, click listed here

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